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Buying Software: the 10 Steps to Success

Buying a business critical Enterprise Software is an undertaking notorious for its pitfalls. Even IT departments of Fortune 100 companies get it wrong! As an Executive in a small to medium sized non-software business, you are not alone if you feel under-equipped to bring this critical process to a successful conclusion. What can you do? Well, with some common sense …

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Car Ferries and the Information Value Chain

I have a real world example of the importance of Information Value Chain thinking for you — odd-ball, but it made me think and I hope you find it fun too. This weekend I was price hunting for car ferries from Ireland to France. I was looking for as cheap as possible, but more importantly close to the days we …

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The Information Value Chain — Why?

Big Data is complicated. Why complicate it further by thinking of it as an “Information Value Chain?” Because the Information Value Chain makes Big Data simpler. Traditional approaches to Big Data focus on how to collect and store data, and often how to present it. They leave out how to use it and what value it is to deliver. This …

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The Information Value Chain

In my last post, I introduced the concept of the “Information Value Chain.” What is the Information Value Chain? Very simply, it’s the insight that Big Data only creates value if it goes through a series of steps, steps which eventually result in action back in the real world. Like so: If we focus primarily on collecting data, we will …

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Big Data Success: Delivering Data is Not Enough

Many years ago I was pitching a Big Data solution to the Production Manager of a large manufacturing plant. After describing all the data we could collect, and the metrics we could turn it into, I thought I had done pretty well. What Production Manager couldn’t be impressed and want our system to get his finger on the pulse of …

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Use Big Data to Make a Science of Observation

As we saw last week, people just aren’t good at noticing things! I hope you had fun with Richards Wiseman’s entertaining and amazing ‘magic’ trick, and are now suitably skeptical of any effort to collect actionable information by human eye. This is what Big Data is for: to make a Science of Observation. Remember what Big Data is: Big Data …

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People Just Aren’t Good at Noticing Things!

I hope you will get a laugh from this week’s post, while it also illustrates a point I have been returning to from time to time: people just aren’t good at noticing things! I was honored to be invited to speak to the North Carolina Executive Roundtable recently. My topic, which generated great discussion, was “Big Data: When Eyewitnesses Are …

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Does it Have to be this Complicated?

If a software solution seems more complicated than it needs to be, then it is worth asking: why? On a current project, I am working with some software tools provided by a major industrial automation company. I have always been amazed at how this company, in particular, takes problems of moderate difficulty and turns them into solutions that appear impenetrably …

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Software Success – the Devil is in the Detail

A recent project has brought home to me an important insight: that the suitability of a piece of software for a particular business or need, is often as much dependent on the details of how it does what it does, as on the headline list of “features” it offers. This has important implications for how you buy software. The example …

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Protecting Your Software Investment. Rule #3: Document

We have covered the first two rules for Protecting your Software Investment from “yourself”: Separate and Control. This week we will round off with the final rule: Document. What do we document? If you have gone through a certification process, such as ISO 9000, GMP or TS16949, then this is really just applying your Quality Management System to your business …